Senator Richard Burr may have too many potential conflicts of interest to conduct an impartial investigation into connections between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Burr was a national security advisor to the campaign, boasted there was “no separation” between himself and Trump during the campaign, and recently made efforts to minimize Trump’s Russian ties on news outlets.
Burr has stated that his actions and connections to Trump do not compromise the integrity of the investigation. He tried to discredit concerns during an ongoing investigation, while evidence is still being collected! How are we supposed to have faith in the results of an investigation when investigators have determined innocence before all evidence is gathered?
Now the Senate Intelligence Committee has confirmed that Obama did not wiretap Trump Tower. So Burr did at least confirm facts. However, he failed to take the next step: Censure Trump for his lies.
It certainly may be possible that Burr can act in the best interest of the country over party. However, appearances matter. The public should get to decide what compromises the investigation. We have the right to confidence in the process. An independent commission needs to investigate Trump’s Russian ties.
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Of course, the whole investigation could be avoided or at least dramatically minimized in scope if Trump would simply release his tax returns and declassify intelligence on Russian election interference. Since he insists there is “no there there,” he should not hesitate to do both.